Chunder from Downunder – Zen, or how I learned to chill out and not listen to the tick tock
Musing on another tournament report for me, this time from the more usual confines of the Irresistable Force store at Brisvegas.
This is about as close to an LGS as I have for Warmahordes, being only a couple of hours away. Brisbane is home to (in my admittedly biased opinion) the strongest single Warmahordes meta in the country (feel free to chime in on the comments or in the forums if you disagree). This would be our first experience of Deathclock, a format I will get a lot of familiarity with at Gencon later in the year, so getting some practice would be very nice.
This time of year is always the busiest for me at work, and I’d felt under quite a lot of stress for a few months now. I had gotten the message off my doctor that I needed to chill out earlier in the week, and I realised thinking about it that this had also extended to my gaming, where I had been very irritable and probe to being overly pedantic in games of late, and going on tilt if I made the slightest mistake (my gaming mistress gelf is currently experiencing a similar thing – chill out mate). I resolved to take a zen-like approach to the tournament, focussing in playing like the gamer I want to be rather than just on winning.
My two lists for this event were the eHexy list I used at Sydney Super Series heat in my previous report, and a pMakeda list I’ve been tweaking around. In particular I was keen to try out the Carnage + Fatewalker combo the Road to War boys have been carrying on about, to see if it was strong enough to take Aptimus Marketh off my precious Zaal.
Archdomina Makeda (*5pts)
* Molik Karn (11pts)
* Titan Gladiator (8pts)
* Titan Sentry (9pts)
* Aptimus Marketh (3pts)
Cataphract Cetrati (Leader and 5 Grunts) (11pts)
Nihilators (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer (3pts)
I have so far found the list pretty solid in scenarios where you need to split your force, which has been a problem for me – the Cetrati make for a very durable and independant zone holder, allowing the rest of the army to focus on offense. Both lists had a max unit of Gatormangs and a Feralgeist as reinforcements.
Game 1 – Jeff Galea – Retribution – Process of Elimination
Jeff and I have played quite a few times at tournaments, and though I started out strongly against him, he has been my nemesis of late, winning our last three matchups. All previous games had been vs my Menoth however, where Ravyn causes me lots of problems. Jeff is one of two excellent Retribution players inAustralia, along with Tobias “Desert Spiral” Ford.
I figured Jeff would use Rahn for this matchup, and chose pMakeda accordingly. I was a little surprised when he opted for Ravyn, but didn’t mind the matchup too much – the army is fast enough to engage without too much hassle from the guns.
There was a giant forest up the middle of the table between the two zones, and my plan was to make the left zone look very inviting by only putting the Cetrati in, and later quickly switch Molik over there with Rush to try and score a surprise point. I hoped to engage the Mage Hunter Strikeforce quickly, hoping I could draw them into firing at my Beast Handlers, which aren’t as essential as normal in this list. I could also use my feat to preserve them.
Things went largely to plan, though I didn’t engage the MHSF as well as I’d hoped, I did capture a point early on when the Houseguard Halberdier unit broke rolling two 11’s. The Nihilators also countered Jeff’s excellent to hit rolls by being ridiculously Tough (Jeff was also very gracious in allowing me to place my feat models after I’d forgotten it comes before Fury Manipulation). This stroke of luck really put Jeff on the back foot, and even though I stuffed up my order of activations by not healing up one of my beasts enough to go after Jeff’s Discordia, the game was up when Jeff was forced to go after Molik with Ravyn and failed to seal the deal. Molik then made short work of Ravyn.
Game 2 – Stuart Beats – Khador – Envelopment
Stuart’s Khador army looked amazing, and almost certainly would have won best painted had that been awarded. His two lists were pButcher with full Deathstar, and eVlad with Kayazies, so there was no doubt I was taking eHexy for this one. Stuart ended up taking eVlad. I felt I should have a strong attrition advantage in this matchup, especially if I could make an early dent in the Kayazy.
I was hoping to be able to win on scenario here, but on reflection with reinforcements coming on defensively in this one, it was very unlikely in deathclock. I was able to get a nice early Ashes to Ashes off on the Kayazy, taking out half of them. We were both playing the left flank (my scoring zone) quite cagily, while my Gators came on to the right where I established a strong advantage.
Despite missing an Ashes to Ashes at a stationary Gator on my feat turn, I was still able to neutralise the Kayazy without much loss, and nailed the Eliminators to boot. Stu’s feat turn was used mostly to propel a unit of Eliminators into Hexy with a run move, but I just Ashes a nearby Slinger to remove that problem. Stu then got pretty lucky with the Kayazy Underboss, charging an Ashen Veiled eHexy and leaving me on 4 points of health. I was then able to assassinate Vlad with about 4 minutes remaining on the clock with Prescience Black Spot + Hellfire + Shaman charge + Sentry bash.
Game 3 – Dmitri Sarbanis – Cygnar – Demolition
Dmitri had done very well with his Cygnar at Cancon a few months back, so I’d known he must have improved quite a lot since I’d last given him a game. He predictably chose eHaley for the matchup, and I had eHexy so that I had at least some play on feat turn.
Dimi used his army to perfection early, really piling on the pressure. He took out my Bronzeback early on then feated, leaving me with the likely scenario of giving up the Gladiator as well, or conceding at least one control point.
Fortunately for me Dimi didn’t know my army too well, and so he allowed me to move my Shaman before I activated Hexy, allowing me to get a spell assassination on Haley, who had pushed right forward uncamped to get into such a brutal feat position. Unfortunately, I fell short by 1 damage, rolling a 4 for damage on one of my boosted Hellfires. I did give up the Control point, but fortunately for me I was able to finish off Haley with an Ashes bounce the following turn – if I hadn’t I was pretty much toast.
So after 3 games I was in a very familiar position, one from where I have historically pissed down my leg as phatasian likes to put it. I was hoping my new zen approach to the game would help in this regard though.
Game 4 – Tony Lee – Trollbloods – Diversion
I was pretty happy with this matchup to end the tournament, as I had a lot of recent experience vs trolls. Tony chose Grim Angus, and I took Makeda, which was a very familiar matchup, and one that I think favours pMakeda. Grim wants to get a lot done on his feat, but Savagery is almost a hard counter to it with Molik Karn, who will always be in range if he’s under the feat.
This proved to be the case, as Tony didn’t even get a chance to feat before Molik pounced on a single fury camping Grim with Carnage up. Tony not passing a single Tough roll didn’t help matters.
With a big SoS of 11, I managed to beat out Tobias, the other undefeated to take out the event. I was pretty stoked with this, as this is a first tournament I’ve won in Warmahordes, and also the first time I’ve managed to go undefeated. My casters never really felt in jeopardy the whole time, which was good after my muppet madness at the Super Series.
I really enjoyed the Deathclock format, and I think it helped me play in a less stressed out state for a much more relaxing and enjoyable experience. As a bonus, I seemed to play a lot better.